I'm running VMWare Workstation 7 on Windows 7 x64. In the guest OS (also Windows 7 x64) I have VMWare Tools installed, but the VMWare Tools service is disabled. I run the VM in full screen mode and the VMWare toolbar at the top often displays this tooltip:

To release input, press Ctrl+Alt

This tooltip obscures a part of the VM (often the menu of a program I'm using) and it's annoying as hell. Going out of full screen mode and into it again gets rid of it, but only until I mouse over that toolbar and then it reappears! How do I get rid of it, once and for all?

I tried adding

hints.hideAll = "TRUE"

to the .vmx file for the VM and to preferences.ini and neither of those helped.


I fixed this by going into Workstation Preferences and unselecting "Grab keyboard and mouse input on mouse click".

Then, restart the workstation. Obviously, VMware tools would need to be installed on the guest.

  • I know I know, old thread -- anyone know what the change this causes in the .vmx file?
    – JustJeff
    Oct 15 '14 at 13:21
  • @JustJeff I don't think it would cause any change, it chages the vmware preferences (probably in the registry).
    – peterh
    Jun 11 '15 at 11:15

This never worked for me using the vmware workstation interface, but you can do it using an HEX editor and modiyfing vmware.exe, so here's how I did it on Workstation 11.

HxD is a good one for windows.

  • First, create a backup/copy of your vmware.exe file in program files.

  • Close vmware workstation.

  • Open HxD as an administrator and open vmware.exe.

  • Once the file is open, search for the ascii string (CTRL+F) To release. It should be between the offsets 0012A350 @ 0012A390.

  • Replace the following bytes by 00 (ascii null) or 2E (ascii .):

    @&!*@*@(msg.vmui.fullScreen.ungrab.tooltip)To release input, press %s

Caution! Do not delete any bytes, replace them. The file must stay the same size.

  • 1
    Hint for VMWare Player (Version 7.1.0) is the file vmclientcore.dll. Jul 7 '15 at 17:58
  • 1
    Between the around 5 different workarounds I've found on the net, this was the only working one.
    – peterh
    Jul 11 '15 at 22:35
  • worked like a charm. thx
    – termnml
    Jul 22 '15 at 8:56
  • 2
    This is way harder in v12. First off, note, you need to move the files to a safe location, not the desktop (for some inexplicable reason) for HxD to allow you to write. Then the messages are now stored in vmwarecui.dll and vmclientcore.dll Search for To return as the message has been changed. The code is also different, just start at the @& and replace to the end of the message. But their is also more messages that take over when this one is removed, so just scan up and down a few lines in both files for similar messages, in both files, and null those out as well.
    – Jonathon
    Nov 5 '15 at 14:20

I'll add a way to fix this from command line that should continue to be valid with new versions.

You'll need a tiny (2.12 MB) though versatile free tool named sfk (Swiss File Knife) by StahlWorks Technologies. One way or another, you'll need a third party tool (HxD or whatever) since, AFAIK, Windows has no native way to do it this.

You must search for the hex string 54 6F 20 72 65 6C 65 61 73 65 20 69 6E 70 75 74 2C 20 70 72 65 73 73 20 25 73 (i.e., "To release input, press %s") and replace it with 00 6F 20 72 65 6C 65 61 73 65 20 69 6E 70 75 74 2C 20 70 72 65 73 73 20 25 73 (the same, except for the beginning null char).

This is a printf format string, ended with an 0x00 byte: if you put a \0 in its first place, the string nullifies, so the following zeroes are superfluous. We use the complete string just to ensure that we are aiming at our target.

  1. Download sfk.exe and place it in the VMware folder (or any other in your %PATH%).
  2. Open an elevated command prompt and change dir to VMware folder as well.
  3. It's recommended to make a copy of vmware.exe. For example:
    copy vmware.exe vmware.exe.bak
  4. Run the following command:
    sfk replace vmware.exe -binary /546F2072656C6561736520696E7075742C207072657373202573/006F2072656C6561736520696E7075742C207072657373202573/ -nosub -yes
    (You can verify the difference with fc /b vmware.exe.bak vmware.exe.)

Essentially it's the same that @MaximePoulin's, but from command line and replacing just one byte.

Of course, you can do it by hand but, if you update or reinstall, placing these two commands in a batch file will save you time and avoid errors almost for sure.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.